Tax Levy Q&A at City Club on October 14th

City-ClubCity Club is set to discuss a proposed property tax levy at its coming Monday meeting .City Council Vice President Biff Traber from Ward 8 and OSU Extension community economist Bruce Sorte will speak at this meeting to answer questions and address concerns. Although Corvallis residents won’t be voting on this proposal until Tuesday, Nov. 5, this is a great opportunity to get informed beforehand.

As it is with the current levy, the proposed one will raise money for the Osborn Aquatic Center, Chintimini Senior Center, library, and other services such as code enforcement, planning, police and fire departments. It would also replace funds lost to the Hewlett-Packard tax payment back in May, when a judge ruled that the HP campus was overvalued on property tax bills from 2008 to 2011—the incident cost Benton County $9.5 million in tax revenue. If passed, the new expiration date would be June 30, 2019.

The existing levy was approved by voters in 2011, having raised $0.45 per $1,000 of assessed property values in the city. This new one would increase it by roughly $0.37 for a total of $0.82 per $1,000, and would apply to tax bills calculated after July 1, 2014. If the proposal passes, what would previously have been a $112.50 bill for a homeowner with a house worth $250,000 would become $205. The hike sees an almost doubling of the rate previously agreed upon… but why? What has changed so drastically in the last two years?

Attendees are invited to submit questions via email before the meeting so that Traber and Sorte can attempt to answer them during their presentations. Questions can be emailed to nickhoutman8@aol.com with “City Club Oct. 14 questions” as the subject line; attendees can also request to become City Club members via email.

The meeting will occur at the Les Schwab Gym in the Boys & Girls Club, 1112 NW Circle Blvd. Registered attendees pay $10 for lunch provided by Baja Fresh, while non-members pay $12. Doors open at 11:30am, and the meeting starts at noon. For more information, visit www.cityclubofcorvallis.org.

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